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Thanks Mike. It's been a hard week and likely very hard for you and others living in Kamloops. We will use this prayer in our bulletin and likely as part of our worship service.

Love this! So good. We have several art projects done by our daughter around our home and yard. She was blessed with a teacher who encouraged her artistic gifts. She also has a rather amazing flare at fashion design and sometimes I wished there was a way to tap into that gift professionally.

As a parent of a young adult with Down Syndrome who loves to colour I can understand to some degree where the dad is coming from. Personally I wouldn't recommend the nursery as that isn't age appropriate. I wouldn't have a problem with having someone colour during the service, but if that makes others uncomfortable, maybe a space off to the side would be an option. As much as possible, I think it's best to keep her with the worshipping community. There are lots of religious colouring books available for instance if that helps keep her settled.

This is the 2016 list. I realize the 2017 list might not be ready yet, but I hope it will be uploaded and shared soon so that churches looking for seminary candidates will also be given contact information for those graduating this May.

Our church adopted this policy many years ago.  As one of the employees of the church, it was an extremely uncomfortable matter that everyone in the church knew what my salary was.  It came to a head at one congregational meeting when someone stood up and offered to do the job for a lower amount.  Now only Council members, the Personnel Committee, and the Salary committee, know what each person is paid.  I think most church employees are acutely aware that their salaries are paid for by member contributions, and therefore work very hard to earn both the dollar value and respect of those on whose behalf they carry out their particular roles of kingdom service.  As far as I can determine there is no added benefit to congregational members knowing the individual amounts of staff salaries.

We offer a gluten-free plate.  We come forward for communion, so it's been very easy to make this available.  Each time it's mentioned that there is a one station where gluten-free bread is available. The elders will use that plate for those persons.  The two breads are kept very separate for the needs of those with extreme allergies.

We stand for scripture reading every Sunday.  About 8 years ago, one Sunday the worship leader invited us to stand, saying this was customary in Jesus' day.  No fuss, no discussions, no meetings needed.  We were invited to stand, we did it, it was well received and we've done every Sunday since.  It has became the norm for us.  On the occasional time we forget to let a guest pastor know they should invite us to stand, the congregation just gets up of it's own accord. Now when we visit another church where they remain seated, it feels very strange and borderline disrepectful.  I heartily recommend standing for the reading of scripture. 

You may want to do some google searches. It largely depends on how you view communion. If it's to remember and re-enact, so to speak, it belongs in a Maundy Thursday service. If it's a celebration, it belongs in an Easter service. In most mainline churches, especially those who celebrate communion weekly, Good Friday is the only service of the year in which communion is not celebrated. In many cases the communion elements are even removed from the worship space, and/or covered in black cloth. The thought behind this is that Good Friday is the day Jesus suffered the torments of hell.  I've noticed that in Reformed Worship there are Good Friday services with communion as well as services without.

I'm curious about what paper you would actually send. We've had two such situations and in both cases simply wrote "Terminated" across their membership page in the black record book. I keep these, as well as our lapsed membership forms in a separate binder, so I have an active and an "inactive" binder.

Ted, thank you so much for sharing your model, and especially for providing so much detail! This is exactly what I was hoping would come, and one of the benefits of this network where churches can help each other. We had our visioning session Saturday, and much of what came out certainly points us in the same direction your church has gone. The details, however, of who visits whom, how the lists are drawn up, what their responsibilities are, etc., which you provided will really help us put flesh on what so far is a bare-bones model. We've been drawing up all our models, so to help us compare yours with our own and some of the new suggestions that came out of our retreat, I am taking the liberty of emailing my drawing to your church, and hopefully they will forward it to you.
If I may, would it be possible to also get a hard or a pdf copy of your Statement of Direction?
Again, thank you so much!

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